Email subscription service Newton just can’t seem to die.
The app has survived two shutdowns and will now be kept alive by two “super fans” that claim to have a solid plan to keep Newton going.
In case you haven’t been following along, Newton’s developer, CloudMagic, announced plans to shut down in September 2018. In a cruel twist of fate, I actually reviewed the app just days before CloudMagic made the announcement. To date, Newton is still one of the best email clients I’ve used. It boasts intelligent features that make email a breeze while being available on nearly every platform (especially important for me since I often switch devices for work).
However, just a few months later Essential — yes, that Essential — acquired CloudMagic and Newton returned. Unfortunately, about a year later Essential announced it would shut down as well, taking CloudMagic and Newton with it.
Over the last few months, every time I opened Newton to check my emails, a banner across the top of the app reminded me of its impending demise on April 30th. As the date drew near, however, the app shared a glimmer of hope. There were talks from another party to acquire it.
Well, that all came to pass with two well-established people in the software space — Justin Mitchell, CEO of Yac.com and leader of a product design agency at SoFriendly, along with Maitrik Kataria, a partner at software development company Simform and now CEO of Newton Mail.
What’s next for Newton
In a blog post, the pair detailed how their ownership of Newton came to pass, as well as hinted at some future goals for the platform. For now, Newton will continue on at its typical $49.99 per year subscription rate with the same features and existing app support. In the blog post, Mitchell writes that the team will spend the next six months diving into the codebase to understand over a million lines of code. Along the way, they plan to iron out some of the bugs that have been hampering users.
Additionally, Newton will thank fans for their loyalty by giving current customers three months of free service. Further, there will be a 20 percent discount for past subscribers who want to re-subscribe. Plus, subscribers can now ‘refer a friend,’ which gives the referral a 20 percent discount and the referee three months free.
This all seems like a good start. When Essential acquired Newton, it felt more as if the app was being kept on life-support than anything. There were hardly any updates or new features released. Unfortunately, the vague roadmap doesn’t address some of the other concerns about Newton.
Primarily, the issue of funding. Newton has failed twice now, which doesn’t inspire confidence that it won’t fail a third time. Plus, that record could make it hard to persuade new users to subscribe. Hopefully Newton’s new owners can get things back on track and make the app great again.